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10 Tips for the German Market by Berlin Music Commission

Linus Lassus


Berlin Music Commission works with connecting the Berlin music industry players with each other and other industries.

In their 2016 report on the German music market, Berlin Music Commission lists 10 guidelines for bands and artist heading to Germany. To a large extent these tips also apply to other markets, and are therefore also relevant for bands looking to establish themselves in other territories. The tips are listed below:

1. Establishment and Development of a Domestic Home Base

One of the first questions German agents ask is how established the act is in their home country or in other countries. Do they already have a fan base and releases? What do their live activities look like?

2. Direct Contact and Face to Face

When looking for a partner in Germany, use every opportunity for direct contact. Avoid endless emails with boring band photographs and massive lists of links. Concentrate the material and discussion only on the most fundamental points. Inform yourself which German agents already have experience collaborating with international acts before you make contact.

3. No Releases without a Tour and No Tours without a Release

Always have two strings to your bow when searching for a label and booking agency. You can’t have one without the other.

4. Avoid Making Contact or Booking Concerts in Germany during the World Cup or European Championships of Soccer.

There is very little attention for anything other than the soccer in the two weeks before and after soccer World Cups and European championships. European Championships 2016: June 10 – July 10. World Cup 2018: June 14 – July 15.

5. Also Promote through Traditional Mediums

Depending on the type of music, the CD is still a promotion tool for journalists and business in Germany. The booklet is an important component of the first impression. Digital promotion still has not been able to entirely replace traditional physical sound recordings in Germany. Don’t forget label codes when using promo-CDs.

6. Use Homepages, Facebook Sites, and All Other Media to Update Interested Parties

Before establishing contact, update the homepage and virtual platforms such as Facebook. Poor quality videos, terrible sound, and anything superfluous should be removed from the web.

7. Publishing Deals

As a market newcomer in Germany, only grant exclusive rights on rare occasions. Instead, first agree on project related deals. Different publishing cultures are meeting and a good project related publishing deal can help the search for a label or booking agency.

8. Merchandise

The sale of merchandise and sound recordings at concerts is very popular and can be an important source of income. Merchandise production can be processed in Germany.

9. Touring in Germany

Don’t concentrate tours solely on major urban areas like Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, and Frankfurt. Many smaller and mid-sized cities, and even some villages offer excellent, organized locations. The excess supply in major urban areas can hinder ticket sales and media attention. The fastest way to the stage in Berlin is sometimes through successful concerts in the province.

10. Touring in Germany with a German Booking Agent

Take time to consider signing international exclusive contracts for tours in Europe. Signing touring contracts in Germany is best done working directly with a German booking agency. Making a deal with an English agent, for example, can only be lucrative for the artist, for example, when the agency is truly able to assemble a good support tour in Germany.